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Priority Capital Projects Calgary's Event Centre and Culture + Entertainment District improvements

More than an event centre, this project continues the momentum underway to develop Calgary’s emerging Event Centre and Culture + Entertainment District and one of our newest downtown communities. It is the next step in Calgary’s renewal as a global city and international destination, as part of a total package that supports the downtown’s revitalization and recovery.

The Project


Together with downtown’s only community rink, the 6 Street S.E. underpass, street improvements and new public gathering places, a modern event centre positions Calgary to be a host city that attracts new concerts, performances, festivals and events that all Calgarians can enjoy. 

These investments, along with ongoing development, will directly contribute to the quality of life of the 8,000 Calgarians, who will call this developing community home, and people visiting from all corners of the city.  

They contribute to Calgary’s growing public spaces and amenities downtown for more people to explore and experience. They will join the newly designed Century Gardens and Eau Claire promenade, as well as St. George’s Island and Calgary’s Riverwalk to name a few. Our growing downtown is offering more places to visit and gather that will be accessible and well used by Calgarians and those visiting from out of town.

Ensuring Calgary continues to be an affordable and attractive city where people want to live, and visit, requires thoughtful and intentional effort. This project is one of many investments that we’re making to support Calgarians, Calgary’s communities and Calgary’s downtown.

Project update – May 2024


We are pleased to share that significant progress has been made to date on the design of the Calgary Event Centre! Administration provided an update to the Event Centre Committee earlier this month and shared that the team is on track to submit the third and final development permit for the building itself, share the design, and break ground this summer.  

There is still work to complete before we can share more. At this point in time, information remains confidential as we continue to discuss details around budget, planning, scope, and schedule. However, the design is taking shape and we look forward to sharing more information as soon as we’re able to.

More information on the project and district improvements can be found on the FAQ page.

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Targeted project timeline


The project team is working to finalize a construction schedule in the coming months that will highlight when major milestones might occur, such as development permit applications, design reveal, and ground-breaking. While the construction schedule is still being finalized and subject to change, we expect to share the design and break ground in 2024.

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October 5, 2023

Definitive agreements signed

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Definitive agreements signed between The City, CSEC, and the Province.

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Fall 2023

Design phase begins

Start Date | End Date

Project team begins design phase of the event centre, community rink, and public plazas.

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Winter/Spring 2024

Site preparation

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Site preparation and enabling works to begin; project team progresses through the design phase.

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Spring/Summer 2024

Permits & design reveal

Start Date | End Date

Targeting development permit application and design reveal.

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Summer/Fall 2024

Construction

Start Date | End Date

Targeting the start of construction.

The project timeline is tentative and subject to change as the construction schedule is finalized later in 2024.

Improvements


New mobility connection

A new 4-lane underpass under the CP train tracks with wide sidewalks at 6th Street S.E., providing pedestrian, wheeling, and vehicle connections.

Community rink

Shared facility for public booking and training facility for CSEC teams with seating for 1,000.

Outdoor and indoor gathering space

More opportunity for community events onsite and in The District.

Event centre

New City-owned building, capable of accommodating “A-class” events and additional hosting space on a 10-acre parcel of land.

Street and public realm improvements

Improvements to 5 Street S.E and 15, 17 and 25 Avenues S.E.

Land

Commercial development parcels that can accelerate development and growth in Calgary’s downtown core and The District.

Benefits to Calgarians


  • Job Creation

    Ernst & Young prepared an Economic Impact Assessment on the full build out of the Culture + Entertainment District. The report released in January 2019, states up to 4,750 full-time jobs could be created during the construction phase of the district, with an additional 1,536 permanent jobs created once the new facilities are open.

  • Invest in Calgarians

    The Event Centre and improvements to the Rivers District is an investment in the quality of life in Calgary. The Event Centre will be a complementary anchor to the BMO Centre Expansion, and together these two modernized facilities will work with other improvements in the area to give Calgarians a vibrant year-round gathering place. It’s a place where visitors and a whole new generation of Calgarians will make lifelong memories.

  • Economic Growth

    Having already attracted more than $3 billion of private investment to date, the Rivers District has momentum. Calgary’s economy and local businesses will benefit from both Event Centre and The Rivers District construction, and activities related to future programming and operations. The result will be more events, enjoyed by more people who visit the downtown core, benefitting more businesses in the area.

Downtown recovery


A modern event centre is part of a total package that supports Calgary’s downtown recovery

It complements and supports other projects and programs that are underway, completed, and upcoming, which together, grow and build a successful and vibrant downtown for the next 40 years and beyond:

UNDERWAY UPCOMING COMPLETED

BMO Centre

Arts Commons Transformation

9 Avenue S.E. bridge

BMO Convention Centre Hotel

The Future of Stephen Avenue

Central Library

Downtown Calgary Incentive Program

Event Centre

Contemporary Calgary

Eau Claire Area improvements

6 Street S.E. Underpass

Platform Calgary

Glenbow Museum

Community Rink

Studio Bell

Green Line LRT

MNP Expansion

Upgrades to 17 Avenue S

Stampede Trail

 

17 Avenue S.W. upgrades

Victoria Park LRT Station upgrades

   

Project background


This agreement is the culmination of more than 15 months of work, as well as the lessons learned from the first round of event centre negotiations. 

Committee and third party


Event Centre Committee

On Oct. 25, 2022, as part of Council’s Organizational Meeting a new Event Centre Committee (ECC) membership was approved by Council. This Committee will continue the work already underway by the previous Committee’s members. The Event Centre Committee is comprised of five voting members:

Three Members of Council:

  • Sonya Sharp; Councillor
  • Andre Chabot; Councillor 
  • Terry Wong; Councillor 

Two public members:

  • Deborah Yedlin; President & CEO, Calgary Chamber of Commerce
  • Brad Parry; President & CEO, Calgary Economic Development

The first ECC was held on April 4, 2022, at which time Councillor Sharp was confirmed as Chair and Deborah Yedlin as Vice Chair.

Third Party

The City and the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation have agreed to begin formal discussions with a fresh start towards a new event centre.  We are pleased to move forward with CSEC with a collaborative approach to identify mutual interests and beneficial opportunities.

This milestone could not have happened without the efforts of the third party, whose team included Guy Huntingford, John Fisher, and Phil Swift, along with The City’s Event Centre Team and CSEC.

We are grateful for the third-party’s efforts, which has fulfilled Council’s original direction and their mandate to determine if there is a path forward to a new Event Centre with CSEC.

Project Partners


Other capital projects


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